Is It Normal That My Fireplace Smells Like A Campfire?

A crackling fire makes for a beautiful and cozy aesthetic for any living space. However, if your chimney is stinky, it can ruin the atmosphere of your whole house fast! If you’re less than impressed with the odors coming from your fireplace, we’re certain our team is here to help. As the burning season draws near along with upcoming holidays, we’re certain you want your fireplace to ready for it. Call Lord’s Chimney today to set up your appointment.

Is There Excess Creosote In Your Flue?

Is It Normal That My Fireplace Smells Like A Campfire - Houston TX - Lords ChimneyA big cause of bad odors is excess creosote throughout your chimney and flue. Creosote is known for having an unpleasant smell, and it’s not uncommon for these odors to come down your chimney and enter your home, especially on humid days. In this case, a thorough cleaning helps tremendously. Once the job is done, your home will smell better and you’ll have a lower risk for chimney fires, since creosote is highly flammable.

As you prepare for the holidays, minimize creosote accumulation by burning smarter. You can do this by picking and using well-seasoned firewood. Wood that has been properly cured for at least 6 months is always beneficial. As properly cured woods causes less creosote accumulation when used. Proper air flow also helps to keep creosote levels at bay, and it produces a more comfortable atmosphere when burning. We can also inspect your system to ensure your damper is in good condition and no excess debris is clogging your flue. Call today to learn more!

Have You Checked For Animals?

Animal entry is another big cause of bad odors. You should look out for signs of birds and woodland creatures. Their feces is known for stinking things up in a hurry, and if they pass away inside of your chimney, bad smells are surely present. If this is an issue, you must first remove the critters, then ask us to install a chimney cap. This is an easy and affordable way to keep your system free from pests, and it also stops water from entering, too!

Let Us Take A Look

The best way to evaluate the unpleasant smells inside your chimney is to call our experts. The CSIA recommends investing in at least one chimney inspection per year. So if you haven’t scheduled yours yet, get on the phone with our experts right now! We will get to work right away to ensure everything is running safely for your upcoming burning season!

How To Fix A Smelly Fireplace

Have you been noticing some bad smells coming in from your fireplace? This is obviously less than ideal, but fortunately there are solutions out there to get your home smelling fresh and good again. Check out some options below, then give us a call so we can figure out the issue and resolve it together. The team at Lords Chimney is ready to serve you!

Schedule That Sweeping

The CSIA recommends scheduling an inspection at least once per year to ensure your chimney is functioning properly, often times, these inspections can lead to the discovery of excess creosote. If you have yet to get your inspection done for the year, give us a call now so that we can check things over! Creosote buildup can cause significant odors to sweep through your home, and if we detect an issue, we can get a sweeping scheduled so you don’t have to suffer any longer.

A good sweeping ensures your fireplace and chimney stay cleaner and safer for regular use, so why not give us a call right away? Rest easier this spring and summer knowing you’re good to go!

Do You Have A Top Sealing Damper?

If you don’t have a top sealing damper, then now may be the time to have yours installed. While throat dampers have done a good job for homeowners over the years, there’s simply no denying that a top sealing option works wonders for keeping your home free from outside air and improving its energy efficiency. And, as you can imagine, they are great for keeping the stink out!

So, how do they work? Well, they are installed at the top of your chimney and work with your chimney cap to keep out downdrafts, water, animals, and excess debris. They also come with a rubber seal, so outdoor air will stay outside where it belongs, and your air conditioning and heat won’t have the opportunity to escape. They’re easy to use, extremely efficient, and they’ll keep those bad odors away, for sure!

Avoid Water Issues

Excess moisture and water in your chimney can trigger some big issues and bad smells, so taking the proper precautions and investing in preventative maintenance beforehand may help eliminate bad odors. There are lots of things we can do to keep water away for good. Replacing your chimney cap, fixing your flashing, rebuilding your crown, tuckpointing, and waterproofing are all effective services that stop moisture from entering your chimney system.

Let us look things over to see what you may need. Our CSIA-trained and -certified experts will be able spot any issues and resolve them before they get worse, giving you the peace of mind you deserve when operating your fireplace. What are you waiting for? Give us a call now at 281-497-4000!

Causes Of A Stinky Chimney

Causes Of A Stinky Chimney Image - Houston TX - Lords ChimneyWhether it suddenly appears or starts small and builds, a stinky chimney can make your home unlivable. While air fresheners may mask the odor, they cannot completely eliminate it; chimney odors are often the symptom of a more serious chimney problem. A chimney inspection is often needed to help identify the cause of a stinky chimney.

What causes stinky chimneys?

There is no one cause of chimney odors; different kinds of smells have different causes, and identifying the kind of odor your chimney has can help pinpoint exactly what is causing it. While a chimney inspection is the best tool to find the source of your home’s chimney odor, the following are four of the most common causes of stinky chimneys.

  • Animals: Sudden, sharp, rotting smells coming from the chimney often indicate the presence of a trapped animal. Birds, raccoons, squirrels, roof rats, and other small animals can find their way into chimneys through damaged chimney caps or other gaps around the flue; unfortunately, once they get in many animals are unable to get back out, leaving them trapped inside.

While live animals can cause odors from their food, feces, or nesting materials, a dead animal in the chimney can cause an overwhelming odor in the home – as well as effect the air quality. To avoid exposure to bacteria or microorganisms carried by wild animals, it is important to have them removed as soon as their presence is detected.

  • Creosote: Creosote is a naturally occurring byproduct of all fuel burning fires, but buildup of creosote is most commonly seen with wood burning fireplaces. A smoky or dirty smell can be the result of excessive creosote buildup; creosote caused odors are often most noticeable in hot or humid weather.
  • Drafting: If your chimney doesn’t draft properly, smoke and gas – as well as chimney odors – can blow back into and linger in your home. Smoky odors from drafting are often present long after the fireplace has been used, especially on hot or windy days. Drafting issues are commonly caused by an improperly sized flue; if you have installed a new fireplace or changed fuel sources, the flue may need to be resized in order to prevent drafting issues.
  • Water: While the exterior masonry of your chimney is built to withstand the elements, delicate interior chimney components are not designed to be exposed to water. Because of this, water can cause serious damage to your chimney components – as well as chimney odors. Dank or damp smells coming from the chimney may indicate the presence of an undetected chimney leak; it is important to repair leaks as soon as possible to minimize water damage to the fireplace and chimney.

Chimney odors do not go away on their own and are often the symptom of a bigger chimney problem. If you have a stinky chimney, contact Lords Chimney today to uncover – and repair – the cause of your chimney odor.

Diagnosing A Smelly Chimney

Fireplaces are supposed to add beauty to our homes and be the centerpieces of the room; however, nothing can detract from a beautiful fireplace quite like a foul odor. Unfortunately, most chimney odors are the result of a more serious problem; while an air freshener might be able to temporarily mask the problem, a chimney professional is often needed to diagnose the cause of a smelly chimney.

Diagnosing A Smelly Chimney - Houston TX - Lords ChimneyCommon causes of chimney odors

There are a number of different factors that can cause chimney odors. Because of this, it is important to have your chimney inspected by a certified chimney sweep in order to uncover the source of your chimney odor. Below are three of the most common causes of smelly chimneys.

  • Animals: Birds, raccoons, squirrels, and other small animals all love to find their way into chimneys for warmth, shelter, or a safe place to nest. Animals can cause a whole host of chimney odors – as well as chimney and fireplace damage – with their nesting materials, food sources, or droppings. However, the most serious and foul-smelling animal odors can come from trapped animals who have died in the chimney. These sharp, foul, or rotting smells can do more than affect your home’s air supply; the presence of an animal in the chimney can also expose your family to a whole host of bugs, bacteria, and other microbes.
  • Creosote: Creosote is a naturally occurring byproduct of fuel burning fires that can accumulate in your flue. Because it is extremely flammable, creosote should be removed by a certfieid chmney sweep during an annual chimney sweep and inspection. In addition to increasing your risk of accidental chimney fire, creosote can also cause smoky or sharp chimney odors. Creosote chimney odors are often worse in warm or humid weather and may not be noticeable when the weather is cool.
  • Water entry: While water can be extremely damaging to your exterior masonry, it can also wreak havoc on your fireplace system. In addition to damaging many chimney and fireplace components, water entry from a leak can also cause chimney odors. Dank, damp, or musty odors from the chimney are often the result of a leak somewhere in the chimney system; the odor is sometimes the only that a chimney leak is present.

    More so than the other sources of chimney odors, water entry is a major concern because it can cause the formation of mold or mildew in your chimney. Not only can this cause extremely unpleasant odors, but it can also negatively affect the air quality in your home. Young children, the elderly, or those with respiratory issues such as asthma are at particular risk of problems caused by mold or mildew growth in the chimney.

    If you have a stinky chimney, don’t just light a scented candle and hope it will fade over time. Instead, call one of the experts at Lords Chimney to help diagnose – and get rid of – the cause of your chimney odors.

Stinky Chimneys

Nothing can spoil a quiet evening spent in front of the fireplace quite like chimney odor. Unfortunately, chimney odors can also occur when the fireplace is not in use, leaving many homeowners scratching their heads as to what is causing their stinky chimney.

Chimney odors should never be ignored and are often the sign of a more serious chimney problem. Because of this, it is important to have a certified professional evaluate your chimney in order to uncover the source of the chimney odor and repair the source to keep it from coming back.

Causes of chimney odor

There is no one cause of chimney odor; because of this, it often takes the combination of a certified chimney professional and a chimney inspection to uncover the source of the odor. Below are some of the most common sources of chimney odor, what causes them, and how they can be prevented.

Water entry

  • Type of odor: Musty or damp odor that may be more noticeable after a rain storm. Long term exposure to moisture in the chimney can cause mold or mildew growth; in addition to creating a round-the-clock odor, mold growth can also affect the air supply in your home, especially for those with respiratory issues such as allergies or asthma.
  • Cause: While water can get into your chimney system in a number of ways, it most commonly comes in from a damaged chimney cap. In addition to protecting the chimney from moisture, chimney caps also keep debris and animals out of the chimney. Likewise, cracks or holes in the masonry can also cause water to enter the chimney system.
  • Signs of water entry: Using a flashlight, look in your firebox or the lower portion of the chimney for signs of moisture or water. Likewise, from the ground look for any evidence that the chimney is cracked or otherwise damaged.


  • Type of odor: Sharp, smoky odor. Creosote smells are often worst during the hot and humid summer months.
  • Cause: Creosote is a naturally occurring byproduct of fuel-burning fires, but is most prevalent with wood burning fires. Tarry creosote can coat the inside of the chimney flue and leave you at increased risk for chimney fire. Annual chimney sweeping removes creosote – as well as the odors that can accompany it.
  • Other causes of smoky odors: Your smoky chimney odor may also indicate an air pressure problem; outside air flows down the chimney and into your home, bringing chimney odors with it. An improperly fitting damper or the installation of a new HVAC system can cause pressure imbalances.

AnimalsStinky Chimney - Houston TX - Lords Chimney

  • Type of odor: Sharp, foul, rotting odor.
  • Cause: A sudden rotting smell almost always indicates the presence of an animal or animal droppings in the chimney. Animals can find their way in through a damaged or missing chimney cap or other surrounding masonry damage on the top of the chimney.
  • Getting animals out: Wild animals should ways be treated with caution and should only be removed by a professional. Likewise, it is important to never “smoke out” a trapped animal; rather than getting out of the chimney, many animals become disoriented or injured by the smoke and heat.

Stop dealing with foul odors coming from your fireplace. Contact Lords Chimney and let a certified professional inspect your chimney and start enjoying your heating appliance once more.